What’s the real secret to happiness, and where can you find some?
It doesn’t matter whether you strive for a gridlock-free commute, a larger stream of money flowing into your life or to cook as skillfully as a celebrity chef. When you think happy, you will live a happy, purposeful life.
You’ll do more, in less time. You’ll find creative solutions to your challenges. And you’ll feel appreciative and hopeful for what the day will bring (even if you wake up on the wrong side of the bed). Ask yourself the following questions:
- Has it been weeks (or months) since you’ve felt really energized about your life, without depending on a triple espresso to get you through your day?
- Do you feel stuck in a career that isn’t going anywhere?
- Are you frustrated at your inability to lose weight, after years of trying to keep it off?
- Are you still blaming your parents or an ex-spouse for your unhappiness … really?
When you’re happy—and you know it!—you don’t focus on the setbacks you face, but instead focus on the good stuff along the way. You eat that occasional piece of cake without stressing about the calories. You set realistic goals, and reward yourself for your accomplishments. And although sometimes the “grass seems greener on the other side,” you wouldn’t change your turf for anyone else’s!
So how can you become happier with who you are, and what you’ve got? The answer is simple, and it won’t cost you a thing—cultivate a happy life by focusing on happy, prosperous thoughts.
Here are three easily adaptable ways to think happy, in order to become happy. When you change your thoughts, you’ll morph into the happiest, most grounded and most prosperous you yet!
The Gratitude Ingredient
You may feel grateful at Thanksgiving each year. You may feel valuable every time your boss congratulates you on a job well done. Or, you may feel appreciative after your children tell you they love you. After a good day at the office or a productive one at home, you feel empowered and unstoppable, right?
Now, just imagine that every day (not just occasionally or rarely), you had something to feel grateful for. It could be your comfortable bed that always provides you with a great night’s sleep, the roof over your head, your best friend, your thoughtful children or your health.
Take that a step further. Give thanks to your mailman. Tell yourself how fortunate you are for a steady paycheck. Remind yourself how lucky you are to live in the neighborhood you do, free of crime and poverty. Notice how lucky you are to have a strong immune system that regularly fights off infection.
Now, go one step further by thinking of all the things that you want to have (a slim physique, a larger paycheck, peace of mind, a worry-free mindset, less debt) as though you already have them. Write down each and every desire you have for your life, each and every morning.
Imagine what it looks and feels like. One by one, write each one down and give it thanks while realizing that you now possess in your life what so many others only dream of. Hold this image of “having” for as long as you can. Repeat daily.
Turning Impossible Dreams into Possibilities!
Martin Luther King, Jr. said it. Leonardo Da Vinci painted it, and J.K Rowling wrote it. What’s your dream that longs to be fulfilled? What’s your purpose and passion?
If your dream is to write a screenplay and every time you sit down to write, your ego takes center stage and says, “What are you thinking? You can’t write. You can’t even make it through a minute without getting distracted,” stop. Freeze. Don’t entertain another pesky, negative thought about what you can’t do.
Imagine an eraser actually erasing that thought that just popped up in your head. Now, imagine taking out a pen and writing the following statement: “I am skilled, sought out and surrounded by others who praise me for my talent and expertise. I am generously compensated for the work I do.” Then sit back, relax and watch your dreams become a quick (and lucrative) reality!
Put Complaints in Their Place!
Showing up with a positive mindset is step one. Step two is staying committed to your goals, no matter what. Here’s the thing about your thoughts—the more you complain, the more you’ll attract things, people and circumstances to complain about.
Whether or not you realize it, you already have everything you need to be a money magnet. A people magnet. A love magnet. A success magnet. That is, you have the ability to be everything and anything you want when you go through your day committed to positive, intentional thoughts about yourself and the world.
When you focus on all you have to worry about, complain about or fear for, you essentially act like a repellant for the “good stuff.” Here’s how to kick your complaints to the curb in order to open yourself up to more success, joy, laughter and adventure:
- Get a little selfish, here. Studies show that people who are happy with themselves haven’t given up on themselves. They haven’t sacrificed their own needs and desires in order to please another.It’s OK to be selfish from time to time, because when it comes to happiness, no one will have to deal with yours but you. If you want to lose your belly weight, get your hand out of the cookie jar, and take your first step towards weight loss.Just accomplishing that first step—which is indeed the hardest—will lead you to another, and another. Before you know it, you’ll have done it—met your goal (which is one of the fastest ways to create happy thoughts and allow them to continue!).
- Now, get a little selfless. Content, at-peace people don’t think obsessively about themselves and stay nestled inside a complaint-oriented mindset. Instead, they flip some burgers at their local charity or run a 5K to raise money for the children’s hospital.Give back in some way—in any way that makes you feel good—and you’ll put your complaints in their place. Being happy isn’t about finding the “magic potion.” It’s about seeing that glass in front of you already full of all of the nutrients you need to be content, satisfied, and even elated with what you’ve got.
Develop the habit of tweaking your negative thoughts for positive ones through gratitude, affirmations and a complaint-free mindset, and you won’t just get happy. You’ll stay happy (no matter what side of the bed you wake up on!).